Coffee? Nope. That's Just My Morning Cup of Mom Guilt
I don't want to feel guilty. Sometimes, I don't even know why I feel guilty! Yet, ever since becoming a mom, guilt is this thing that I drink every morning. I snack on it like dark chocolate throughout the day, a nip here, a taste there. It sits heavy on my shoulders and even heavier in my heart. It's Mom Guilt and I fucking hate it.
When I became pregnant, my whole world changed in the span of three minutes and 2 blue lines on a plastic stick I just peed on. Somewhere between the shock and the elation of finding out I was pregnant, my first dose of Mom Guilt was administered. Hadn't I just gone out and had two glasses of wine the night before? OMG, what are the facts about fetal alcohol syndrome?!? With every item of food I put in my mouth or every decision I made, a little more Guilt seeped in. When I foolishly ate a whole vegan "crab" cake made out of mostly couscous (it was in a dire moment of low blood sugar and wild, blinding hunger) only to find out it made my blood sugar levels spike, I cried, weeping hot wet Mom Guilt tears. OMG, I have gestational diabetes and why didn't I ask what my meal was made of and now my baby is suffering and going to be huge and I'm the worst!!! Now that Silas is Earthside, Mom Guilt has just become a daily drink, usually freshly brewed with a 1/4 cup of anxiety and a teaspoon of sheer self hate.
Where is this coming from, you might be wondering? You're clearly THE BEST MOM EVER, you might be saying. Yes, I'm a good mom. I'd even argue that I'm a great mom, going above and beyond just keeping my child alive. I stimulate, I snuggle, I rarely let my attention wander past what my son is doing. And when I don't? When I try to have a semblance of a moment of my former, non-mom self? That's when the Mom Guilt gets chugged and like a flat beer at a bad party, it's rough on the system. I just FEEL bad asking for a moment for myself. I feel bad wishing that Silas would just give me ONE. MORE. MINUTE. so I can finish peeing/eating/scrolling through my Instafeed. I went to see a movie a couple weeks ago and I spent nearly every action packed moment wondering what Silas was doing and if he needed me. I'm a mess.
So I'm going to stop. I'm going to stop asking for the refills of Mom Guilt. I'm not going to feel like my child will be ruined mentally because he stared at the ceiling fan for one minute while I went to pee. I'm not going to hate myself when I pass him over to The Hubs, begging for him to take him so I can do one thing for myself. I'm going to stop feeling like I don't deserve time to myself. My Mom Guilt is overflowing and it's now splashing out of my cup and ruining other people's day. Silas needs me to be me. Not me with the musty scent of Mom Guilt seeping through my pores. It does him no good for me to hate myself for every little misstep or moment where I felt I could have done better. I'm doing him a disservice by feeling that way. I want him to grow up knowing that I made the best decision that I could in that moment and if it turned out that it wasn't, well then you own it and learn from it. That's what being a human is about. It's not about perfection, it's about all those little imperfections, those mistakes and missteps that help you grow and you're not less because of them, you're more.
This guy and I? I think we're gonna be just fine.
It's hard to be a mom. It's hard to be a mom but also want to be yourself. It's hard letting go of a former identity and being thrust into a new one. And I love being a mom. I wouldn't trade it for the world. But I need to remember that I'm more than a mom, I'm me. I'm someone who likes to go to movies, I'm someone who needs a little time to herself in order to be her best self. I'm someone who knows that she's doing the best that she can. I'm someone who's still growing and learning and that's a GOOD thing. And for now, I'll leave the Mom Guilt for a time when I accidentally embarrass the shit out of Silas in front of his friends by doing something unequivocally "Mom like".
Do you ever feel Mom Guilt? How do you get passed it?